Feds Cite SeaQuest After Flying Squirrel Crushed to Death

For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Woodbridge, N.J. – SeaQuest is in hot water after a staffer closed a door on a flying squirrel, killing the animal and causing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue the aquarium a critical citation, as PETA has learned through the agency’s just-released inspection report. SeaQuest locations across the country have received multiple similar animal welfare citations.

“This flying squirrel suffered a horrific death at SeaQuest, where wild animals lead miserable lives of deprivation,” says PETA Foundation Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Michelle Sinnott. “PETA urges everyone to steer clear of SeaQuest if they have any common sense or kindness.”

SeaQuest has a track record of unsafe conditions, and premature animal deaths are an ongoing problem at its facilities. On the long list of deaths are these: On June 3, 2021, the USDA cited SeaQuest for the drowning of a wallaby at its Colorado location, and within a nine-month period from late 2020 to early 2021, two sloths died at SeaQuest Las Vegas. The chain has a history of replacing dead animals with new ones, sometimes even giving them the same names and forcing them to suffer the same fate.

SeaQuest tourist traps are dangerous in myriad ways, as recent citations show. Last year, the USDA cited the facility in Trumbull, Connecticut, after an employee was caught hitting otters with a metal bowl. Meanwhile, a child was bitten by an adult capybara and another guest was bitten by a sloth at the Fort Worth, Texas, facility. In January 2022, PETA asked the USDA to terminate SeaQuest’s license to exhibit animals after it pleaded guilty to a criminal charge involving the unlawful purchase of wildlife in Colorado.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence toward other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind